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The digital validity of Talaq

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The authority or right given to a man to divorce his wife by mere unequivocal statement. This authority remains with a man all the time during the married life, but giving talaq which in most cases end the marriage and make the wife free from the relationship that she previously held with him. Most importantly is that the consent of wife is not required in talaq. However, man must then abstain sexual relationship with his wife after talaq.

When the Talaq is not valid

Following are the only main points where talaq is not valid however there are many conditions where talaq is not valid. Below are few:

  1. Talaq given by a man to his wife when his wife is in menstrual period is not valid at all in Muslim regions. This is in practice in all Arab countries and is taken as law in their Shariah courts.
  1. Talaq in extreme anger is rarely but mostly which in not valid but only if a person goes insane and lose his mind completely. This is only case when a person saying talaq did not know what he was saying.
  1. No Talaq is valid under intoxication i.e. state when he lost his mind. Agreed upon by most fuqaha and scholars of Isalm.

Validity of Talaq

As the world is moving to the peak of digitalization where social media and other tools of communication become a big part of our lives. A new growing trend among men using tools and website like Facebook, SMS and e-mail to divorce their wives is a very new debate among scholars. While Muslim activists argued that divorcing using usual tools is against Islamic teaching because Islam has set procedure of Talaq. But the fact which world is facing these days can’t be ignored. Husbands in many cases sending emails and SMS to their wives to divorce (talaq) them and even through skype and Facebook men divorce their wives. Which is acceptable in many regions like India, once a woman reported that she had fight with her husband and her husband stormed out of home in angry mood but after some days she argued with him on phone which seems like the matter is going to be resolved while after a day or two of the phone call, she was emailed by her husband about Talaq. She was extremely shocked that whether it is valid or not? She again got a shock to listen from her friend that the divorce is valid if he wrote this email in the presences of 2 witnesses. In another case wife was sent a message on her phone, written 3 times “I divorce you”, by her husband. She claimed separation but her husband was in view that it was not said by him verbally but it was written so it is not valid. A scholar explained to him, “In this principle, being in the presence of one’s spouse is not a pre-requisite for the issuing of talaq. However, talaq had materialised by this action“.

If Talaq is formulated on stamp paper, which is the most common procedure of Talaq everywhere in the world, is valid and acceptable. Where in Arabs they follow the proper procedure of talaq while in Asia, Pakistan but mostly India has this issue very much in trend these days. A group of Muslim scholars and activists are preparing a draft of personal law that would ban triple talaq (divorce) and restrict polygamy among Indian Muslims. It was said by this Muslim group that “we are not drafting a new law but this law is already been said to them in their holy book Quran, But what we are doing is to bring this law in our lives so that we can save many marriages”. Talaq is not only the termination of one’s marriage but is also the breakage of a family and a unit of society. Where internet make it so easy for husband to divorce his wife without facing her, which is not a facility but a dilemma. One should take time and face his wife before deciding to divorce that may change his mind.

Triple Talaq

Triple talaq is recognized by many countries as law that uttering the word talaq thrice to wife materialized divorce. But nowadays Muslim men increasingly use digital media to divorce. Which makes the situation difficult. But still divorces are happening on digital tools that is increasingly growing concern.

Why should divorce (Talaq) should be banned on Phone and social Media?

It’s easy to write talaq three times in an email, WhatsApp or on Facebook wall to divorce a woman. It’s like the easiest way to terminate a marriage.

In India; the Muslim Personal Law Board states, it does not recognize the validity of divorce through digital media, which has no valid standing in the courts. It states that, “We strongly and very clearly assert that divorce through digital media such as email, Facebook or WhatsApp is not enforceable in the court of law. Islam and the Muslim Personal Law does not recognize this kind of practice”, says Advocate Abdul Rahim Querishi, the assistant general secretary at the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

But some religious leaders accept the validity of digital divorce because there are some reasons which prove the divorce. Digital divorce is more likely same as the print draft of divorce written and mailed to wife to terminate relationship, but the only difference is that of print media and digital media. A talaq is valid even though it is uttered in sport or jest or inadvertently or by a mere slip of the tongue or even by mistake or carelessness (but that) a talaq pronounced in sleep would not be valid, said by a scholar.

But why should it be banned to divorce through digital media?

Digital media has so much impact on our communication with our friends and family which in many cases is destructive. Limiting digital divorce will not only help to generate the high degree of tolerance in people but will also bound people to think before verbal actions. It should be banned for so many reasons but some reasons that will put positive impact on people and marriages are:

  • It will stop men from using their authority in wrong context.
  • It will allow a marriage to get a chance to survive.
  • It will make couples get closer to discuss matter and get up instead of give up.
  • It will help men to control their anger and will not let men involve in the termination of marriage through digital medium.
  • Marriage and relationships involves trust and feelings while digital medium doesn’t contain such. So imposing ban will led to increase trust and love in couples.
  • It will make people face each other.


Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com